Stocking Stuffer Reads ~ Part 4
Titles that adult readers would enjoy. With a mix of romance, chick lit, mystery, anthologies and even a couple of series favorites, I’ve tried to bring a solid mix of titles. Please understand that not every book on this list will be a 5 star rave, by the end of the year I will have read and reviewed close to 600 titles, and this list is the books that have stuck with me (a line, a desired re-read, a story that made me want more from the author or series) since I finished reading them. With so many books read, standing out in that crowd tells me there was something that captivated my imagination or attention, and is worth looking at again.
Stocking Stuffer Reads
I’m doing a mix – each genre group will have one or two entries, be linked to my review as well as a small line about why it is special and/ or a quote from the review. Pick up a book or three for the readers in your life – I think there is something here for everyone!
A great way to sample several authors: whether tied by concept or storyline, anthologies provide readers with access to an author’s style which hopefully fuels a desire to read more.
UnCommon Bodies: A Collection of Oddities, Survivors, and Other Impossibilities
See my complete review here
“carefully laid out moments, each building on one another to come to a conclusion that is often unexpected by wholly correct. Of the 20 stories in this collection – most would stand alone with 4 stars, a couple with 3, and the above all hitting those curious notes of wonder and “let me read everything they’ve ever written” 5 stars.”
Finding a world that intrigues and allows you to dive into the lives of the characters over a span of time, with recurring elements, purpose and history that is clearly defined and described is a wonderful find for a reader. And, depending on where you enter the series, some are complete and you have hours of reading or listening enjoyment ahead of you.
Fated: Dark Protectors # 1 by Rebecca Zanetti
See my review HERE
This series combines action, erotic romance, great characters and a whole set of Vampires, Witches, Werewolves and humans in an epic battle. Best read in order, I’ve linked out the first in the series here – all in audio presented by Karen White (a favorite narrator). If you want to dive into another world, enjoy multi-element storylines and want some good fun – this is a series to check out!
I’ll admit I’m more than a bit obsessed with historic romance – from the classics of Austen and Bronte to the new entrants that I highlight here today. From the traditions, customs and titles through the moments that sparkle as the old is reinterpreted for the modern eye, I love the moments of escape and enjoyment.
Diary of an Accidental Wallflower: Seduction Diaries #1 by Jennifer McQuiston
See my review here
“With a deft hand and characters that are wonderfully complex, flaws and all, McQuiston managed to add more twists, turns and revelations into Clare’s life, helping her to make choices that truly secure her happiness. Inclusions of science as we follow Daniel’s progress…So much to love about this first in the series: I can’t wait for the next book!”
How to Marry a Royal Highlander: The Renegade Royals #4 by Vanessa Kelly
See my Review Here
I fell in love with this series from the start – – and this book highlighted my favorite hero!
“From a misguided sense of guilt, to a betrothal that neither party wants, a cranky and ailing Earl and a thoroughly dismissive relations, not to mention a solid smattering of life-threatening danger, Eden is navigating a world she does not know and Alec hasn’t been wholly forthcoming. But, he does get her to see, literally with spectacles, the path that is before her, and not unsurprisingly his own journey comes into focus as well.”
Whether it’s hot or mild, the reinforcing element of love – that everyone does, wants, needs and feels love in all forms is the key. From broken and issue laden characters to that first kiss, no one can resist the pull of love.
A Lone Stranger: The Bent Zealots MC #3 by Layla Wolfe
See my review Here
THIS is what all MC romance titles should aspire to! While this particular series is laden with M/M Romance, Wolfe writes some of the best MC Romance titles – raw and dirty with a side dish of characters who are wonderful in all their brokenness.
“celebrates self-acceptance and awareness, showing the power of friendship and love in making things better than they were. Foul language, often rough and raw emotions and plenty of balance checks to be sure no-one is believing the less than truthful utterances, these characters are real, honest and completely lovable. Eventually.”
The Bride Wore Denim: Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys #1 by Lizbeth Selvig
See my Review Here
I love a cowboy romance, add in family dynamics and I’m hooked!
“For me, the highlight of this story was the characters. Of course, there is a crisis surrounding the management of the ranch, but the interactions between the sisters, Harper’s very strong interior monologue and her own concerns, and that connection with Cole build a need to know tension that had me racing through the pages to see what was next. Each character has a solidity and personality, you can almost envision yourself in the midst of the conversations”
From cozy to murder, thriller to suspense this genre packs in stories that make you think. While not a go-to read for me, the occasional title pops up that demands to be read, and these are some unique and intriguing reads from this year.
Exit Strategy: EXIT Inc. #1 by Lena Diaz
See my review here
“danger, peril a villain (or several) and secondary characters add depth and complexity to the story while making the moments of downtime between them shine and sparkle. Touches of heat add more intrigue as the chemistry between these two is off the chains but downtime is limited. I was constantly coming out of my chair, tense, nervous and edgy until the end. Exhausting, but I couldn’t put it down.”
Dangerous Places: A Roman Cantrell-Nikki Holden Mystery #1 by Elaine Raco Chase
See my Review here
With dialogue that is second to none, ERC reinforces the enjoyment that well-written dialogue brings to a story, setting a tone and rhythm for the action to come.
“So the chase ensues, or I should say chases: Roman of Nikki, Nikki of the story, and the secondary characters all feeding information, some questions of misdirection and the occasional odd clues about just what is important to them, the story moves quickly from one moment to the next, never losing steam. Roman and Nikki are wonderful together – from early attraction that is bandied about like a game of hot potato, to their finally coming together to share stories and information, you can see the growth of the relationship and the balance that these two very alpha personalities come to find together.”
So it may have a romance element, but the majority of the stories here are relationship based: relationships with one another,friendships, common goals and even moments of growth.
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert
See my Review Here
“Even though the story trajectory is fairly predictable, the journey and richness that Reichert has penned is as wonderful as that first slice of cake. Mouth-watering descriptions liberally sprinkle the story, giving a depth to the ordinary appearance of rain or cold, making you feel them. Lou is emotionally available: you cheer for her, you want her to succeed, and most of all you understand in an integral way just why people are drawn to embrace her. You worry for her interest in Al, and when (or if) he will ever tell her the truth as they get closer.”
The Vintage Cinema Club by Jane Linfoot
See my Review here
“I’m used to Linfoot’s use of humor and characterization that build and develop a romance theme, but this broadening of her scope: three main characters, a common goal, vintage items, forays into romance for all three characters and the use of multiple points of view to move the story forward was a delightful read and one of my favorites this year.”